Prior to working with UC Santa Cruz, he began his coaching career as a Cross County and Track & Field coach at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California. A Santa Cruz native, Jacobsen competed for UC Irvine while completing his B.A. in Political Science. He was a Big West Conference Scholar Athlete and member of the 2002 NCAA West Region All-Academic Team. Jacobsen holds a master's degree in kinesiology and is a former kinesiology lecturer at San Jose State University.